Friday, December 21, 2007

The Advent of the Pilgrim God

The late Brother Roger of France's ecumenical monastic community, Taize, wrote that Jesus is the "Pilgrim God" who walks with us on our earthly pilgrimage. For example, Br. Roger reminds us that Jesus was literally on a pilgrimage from the day of his birth, soon taken by his parents on a pilgrimage to Egypt to avoid the slaughtering of the innocent children out of Herod's wrathful vengeance and lust for power. In his ministry upon this earth, Jesus of Nazareth was a walker--to say the least. While there were times that he rode in boats upon the waters of the Sea of Galilee, along with times of rest and teaching when he found his improvisational classroom in the middle of a meadow or in some one's house (and now and then in a synagogue), he was always portrayed by all the Gospel writers as moving by foot, even instructing his disciples to go out and proclaim the Good News with very little in the way of earthly cares. And it was Jesus who was the devout Jew, honoring Passover in his final week of earthly life, an echo of the very pilgrimage that was lived out by the people of God in the Sinai desert.

"Lord, be the companion of our journey," is a simple refrain echoed in a certain litany I learned among the brothers I walked with to Chimayo, NM in 1999. In this season of Advent, on the eve of the celebration of twelve days of Christmas, I look forward to honoring the birth of the Pilgrim God who walked--and continues to walk--upon this earth, this very day.

Bien camino!

Pilgrim peace,